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Allen & Heath Xone:K2 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 200
inc VAT

A well-built and highly versatile modular controller

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MIDI MAPPING
Conveniently, the Xone:K2 comes with two Traktor TSI settings files and some MS Word documents that contain overlays describing the functions mapped to the Xone:K2’s controls. One of the TSI files emulates the Native Instruments Kontrol X1 controller, and lets you use the Xone:K2 to control hot-cues, effects and loops, among other functions.

The X1 emulator is a good map, but the beauty of a controller such as the Xone:K2 is that you can really make it your own and map controls to perform the functions you need most. If you’re using Traktor Pro 2, you can always start with one of the included maps and modify it to suit your needs, or start from scratch with a blank template. We had no trouble mapping functions to the Xone:K2’s controls in Traktor Scratch Pro 2.6 and Ableton Live 8.

Allen & Heath Xone:K2 Top Panel

One of the best features of the Xone:K2 is the ability to switch between different layers of control so that one button, encoder or pot can have three different uses depending on the layer you’re using. You set the control layer using the Layer button, and the back-lit buttons change colour to let you know which layer you’re using. This is much more convenient than using a Shift button to change the MIDI command issued by a button because you can have whole banks of controls on different layers and remain on that layer until you’ve finished using them.

Starting with a blank canvas, we mapped hot-cues and loop controls to the same group of buttons but on different control layers in Traktor Pro 2.6 without issue.

CONCLUSION
If you need a modular controller with plenty of scope for customisation and built-in audio outputs, look no further than the Xone:K2. It sounds great, feels tough, and is suited to both DJing and music production.

Even if you use Traktor Pro 2 exclusively, you may still prefer the Xone:K2 over the Native Instruments Kontrol X1 because of its built-in audio interface. We love the layout of the Xone:K2’s controls and the mapping flexibility it provides. If you’re in the market for a modular DJ or music production controller, the Xone:K2 is well worth checking out.

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Price £200
Rating ****

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